NCL scientist Ashish Lele wins Infosys Prize-2012

City-Based National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) scientist Ashish Lele has won the Infosys Prize 2012 in the field of engineering and computer sciences for his work on smart gels based on the notion of connecting molecular properties to microscopic properties.

The smart gels have potential impact in areas including soft actuators, smart drug delivery devices and stitch-less wound healing. Lele was one of the seven recipients of the awards that were given away on January 3 by former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland. The seven laureates were awarded in six categories — Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences — at a function held in Delhi. The award comprises a gold medallion, a citation expounding the laureate's work and Rs 50 lakh as prize money. The prize for the inaugural Humanities category was split equally between the two winners.

The winners of this year were selected from a total of 220 nominees. The ceremony was presided over by S Gopalakrishnan, executive co-chairman, Infosys, and president of the Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation. Among others present at the event were Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission, Nandan Nilekani, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India, Tarun Das, former chief mentor, CII, Pankaj Jalote, director, IIIT Delhi and Arun Maira, member of Planning Commission.

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